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outdoor show


FYF presents SPIRITUALIZED! $20 Outdoor Show

April 15, 2013

This show is SOLD OUT. Thank you!


Formed from the ashes of the trance-rockers Spacemen 3, singer/guitarist

Jason Pierce's group Spiritualized did not break away from his prior

band's trademark hypnotic minimalism; instead, they perfected it.

Drawing on the continued influence of the Velvet Underground, La Monte

Young, and Steve Reich, Spiritualized staked out a common ground between

minimalism and lush symphonics -- while powered by

simple, repetitious motifs, their songs simultaneously blossomed into

rich, shimmering sonic panoramas inspired by the majestic studio

wizardry of Phil Spector and Brian Wilson. Such seeming contradictions

were essential to the group's alchemy: while the infamous Spacemen 3 tag

of "taking drugs to make music to take drugs to" remained a cornerstone

of their craft, at the same time Spiritualized's very name acknowledged

the existence of other forces, further reflected in their heavy debt to

gospel and soul music as well as an affinity for mantras and devotional


Although Spiritualized fully emerged after the

acrimonious breakup of Spacemen 3, in truth the band's roots extended

back to the band's final LP, 1990's Recurring. A Spacemen 3 album in

name only, Recurring was split evenly between independently recorded

work from Pierce and estranged partner Pete "Sonic Boom" Kember; as a

result, while Kember's side presaged his eventual work with Spectrum,

Pierce's half, recorded with most of the musicians who would later

comprise Spiritualized (including guitarist Mark Refoy, bassist Willie

B. Carruthers, and drummer Jon Mattock), predated the orchestral drones

that became the band's hallmark. The first true Spiritualized single, a

dramatic reading of the Troggs' "Anyway That You Want Me," was the final

nail in the coffin -- reportedly, Kember was so incensed by the

Spacemen 3 logo which appeared on the disc's jacket that he disbanded

the group for good.

In 1991, Spiritualized returned with a

string of EPs -- Feel So Sad, Run/I Want You, and Smile/Sway -- before

their long-awaited debut, Lazer Guided Melodies, finally appeared the

following year. The masterful, blissed-out result of Pierce's obsessive

studio fine-tuning and endless remixing, the album was promoted by the

band's slot on the high-profile Rollercoaster tour, where they appeared

with the Jesus and Mary Chain and Curve. An excellent limited-edition

live document, Fucked Up Inside, followed in 1993, trailed by another

EP, Electric Mainline, later in the year.

In 1995,

Spiritualized -- now a trio consisting of Pierce, keyboardist/guitarist

Kate Radley, and bassist Sean Cook -- issued Pure Phase, a heady, dense

production which boasted separate mixes from each stereo channel. With

1997's Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space, Pierce

deliberately jettisoned many of the band's usual points of departure,

including drones, tremolos, and phase tones; recorded with new drummer

Damon Reece, it featured a cameo appearance from legendary New Orleans

pianist Dr. John on one track, while Memphis studio legend Jim Dickinson

appeared on another. Other guests included the Balanescu Quartet (also

featured on Pure Phase), the Greater London Gospel Community Choir, and

Spring Heel Jack. The two-disc Royal Albert Hall October 10 1997 live

album followed in late 1998.

The following year, Pierce gutted

Spiritualized's line-up, firing Cook, Reece, and Mike Mooney, who

formed Lupine Howl soon after their dismissal; Radley apparently left

soon after she married Verve frontman and solo artist Richard Ashcroft.

Only saxophonist Ray Dickaty and sometime keyboardist Thighpaulsandra

(aka Tim Lewis) remained in the band. Pierce began writing and recording

material for the next Spiritualized album at George Martin's Air

Studios and recruited percussionist Tom Edwards, bassist Martin

Shallards, Echoboy drummer Kev Bales, and guitarist Dogan, from Julian

Cope's band, for the sessions. The new album, Let It Come Down, which

featured an even lusher, more involved sound than Ladies and Gentlemen,

was released in mid-2001. The follow-up, 2003's Amazing Grace, was more

of a back-to-basics record. - Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide

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